Epictetus, from The Handbook

The average person never looks
at himself as the source of
his help or harm but rather

blames everything else.

The philosopher, however,
looks to herself as the source
of help and of harm.

A person bettering himself
censures no one,
praises no one,
blames no one,
accuses no one;

says nothing concerning herself
as being anybody or knowing anything.

When she is thwarted or restrained,
she accuses herself;
and if she is praised,
she smiles to herself;
if anyone finds fault,
she is not defensive.

He moves like a convalescent,
careful not to interfere with anything
that is doing well but
not yet quite there.

She restrains desire;
she transfers her aversion
to only those things that
interfere with her will;

he employs his energies
in moderation but
in all directions. If
he looks stupid,
he doesn’t care.

In other words,
he watches himself
like an enemy.

He watches
like one in ambush.


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